[ ep-uh-fahyt ]
See synonyms for epiphyte on Thesaurus.com
  1. a plant that grows above the ground, supported nonparasitically by another plant or object, and deriving its nutrients and water from rain, the air, dust, etc.; air plant; aerophyte.

Origin of epiphyte

First recorded in 1840–50; epi- + -phyte

Other words from epiphyte

  • ep·i·phyt·ic [ep-uh-fit-ik], /ˌɛp əˈfɪt ɪk/, ep·i·phyt·i·cal, adjective
  • ep·i·phyt·i·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use epiphyte in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for epiphyte


/ (ˈɛpɪˌfaɪt) /

  1. a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic on it

Derived forms of epiphyte

  • epiphytic (ˌɛpɪˈfɪtɪk), epiphytal or epiphytical, adjective
  • epiphytically, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for epiphyte


[ ĕpə-fīt′ ]

  1. A plant that grows on another plant and depends on it for support but not food. Epiphytes get moisture and nutrients from the air or from small pools of water that collect on the host plant. Spanish moss and many orchids are epiphytes. Also called aerophyte air plant

Other words from epiphyte

  • epiphytic adjective (ĕp′ə-fĭtĭk)

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.